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Ogongo's blog

Italy can't deport 700,000 illegal immigrants

The newly approved Security Law criminalizes illegal immigration in Italy. This means that anyone who enters or stays in the national territory without the Permit of Stay is committing a crime, punishable by a fine ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 Euros, and expulsion.

Aware that there is no room in Italian prisons to host the illegal immigrants, the Government decided not to introduce prison sentence for those guilty of committing the crime of illegal immigration.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 09:38


Farewell Don Remigio Musaragno

Priest, servant of foreign students in Italy goes home

The recent death of Don Remigio Musaragno marks the beginning of a celebration of life well lived, at the service of foreign students in Italy. Foreign students are a category of immigrants hardly talked about.
Don Remigio understood the importance of supporting students from all parts of the world, especially the poor students from developing countries, to pursue their studies. In this way, he became a man who had sons and daughters from all parts of the world.

For more than 40 years, Don Remigio served foreign students in Italy, each year, hosting at least 150 students from all parts of the world. He created Centro Internazionale Giovanni XXIII, the most famous hostel for foreign students in Rome.
The centre provided accommodation at very cheap rates for students who could afford, and hosted for free students who could not afford to pay.

It also provided free meals not only to students hosted at the centre, but also to all foreign students who didn’t have where to go to for meals.

Today, most of the foreign students Don Remigio supported in their studies are professors, journalists, ambassadors, politicians, priests, sisters, lawyers, artistes, the list is endless.

Don Remigio used to say that “students are intellectual workers” who deserve to be treated as all other types of workers.

He formed Ufficio centrale studenti esteri in Italia (Central Office of Foreign Students in Italy) in 1962, to promote and support foreign students to come to Italy for studies.

Don Remigio helped so many students get scholarship and obtain student visas. He also helped so many obtain and renew their student permits. The Provincial Police Headquarters throughout Italy are full of letters he wrote declaring he was hosting and providing financial support to foreign students.

Every year, Don Remigio organised a conference on immigration, especially on the immigration laws affecting foreign students in Italy. The conferences brought together foreign university students, university rectors, ministers, trade unions, immigrations officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Prefects, etc. The resolutions of these conferences greatly influenced Italian immigration policies, especially those applicable to foreign students.

Considering foreign students as key protagonists of their countries’ development, he used to urge foreign students in Italy never to forget their home countries. “Never take away your focus from your home country,” he said.
As a way of encouraging foreign students to clear their studies, Don Remigio created a special token to give to those who graduated in any faculty, as long as they presented a copy of their dissertation and the degree.
The library he created at Centro Internazionale Giovanni XXIII in fact has a library with the biggest collection of dissertations by foreign students in the country for the last 40 years.

I’m convinced Don Remigio lived a fulfilling life, and I can imagine him narrating to God his experiences with foreign students in Italy.

Thanks Don Remigio for the favour you did of dedicating your priesthood to the service of foreign students in Italy. May the good work you initiated not be interrupted now that you are gone.

By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 09:25

Michael Jackson, a great artiste the media failed to understand

The world is mourning Michael Jackson, a legendary pop star who revolutionized entertainment industry. Michael died at age 50, on 25th June in Los Angeles.

Michael was one of the very few musicians to become extremely famous while still alive. He had been due to stage a series of comeback concerts in the UK, from 13th July.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 09:21


Italy's anti-immigration rules and actions mere propaganda

Immigration is once again the main political agenda in Italy. It is a very important issue which can make one either lose or win elections. This is why every time we are nearing elections (European Parliamentary elections coming up in June), immigration tops political agenda in this country.

The ruling People of Freedom Party (PDL) has been pushing for approval of the Security Bill which contains some of the worst rules against immigration ever made in this country.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 09:38


Former illegal immigrant wins Italy's Big Brother

Ferdi Berisa’s victory shows that we can all achieve our objects

Ferdi Berisa, a former illegal immigrant has been crowned winner of Italy’s Big Brother 2009. Ferdi, 22, is originally from Monte Negro. He arrived in Italy by boat when he was eight years old, together with his drunkard father who used to force him to go to steal. His mother abandoned him when he was a baby.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 09:37